Muslim Conundrum: Nudity during sex invalidates marriage

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 2:11 pm by Neal

(Thanks, HR, for the tip).

Check out this Middle East Online article, To strip or not to strip?, for the details on one of the latest conundrums facing the serious scholars of Islam: Whether or not nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates marriage. While Egyptian clerics are divided over this issue, we recommend that Muslims make the only “safe” choice: avoid sex completely.

This fatwa does beg a question: If a married, Muslim couple take off their clothes and have sex, and this invalidates their marriage, are they then committing adultery? Islam: So many ethical questions, so little time.

CAIRO – An Egyptian cleric’s controversial fatwa claiming that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage has uncovered a rift among Islamic scholars.

According to the religious edict issued by Rashad Hassan Khalil, a former dean of Al-Azhar University’s faculty of Sharia (or Islamic law), “being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage”.

The religious decree sparked a hot debate on the private satellite network Dream’s popular religious talk show and on the front page of Sunday’s Al-Masri Al-Yom, Egypt’s leading independent daily newspaper.

Suad Saleh, who heads the women’s department of Al-Azhar’s Islamic studies faculty, pleaded for “anything that can bring spouses closer to each other” and rejected the claim that nudity during intercourse could invalidate a union.

During the live televised debate, Islamic scholar Abdel Muti dismissed the fatwa: “Nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy.”

For his part, Al-Azhar’s fatwa committee chairman Abdullah Megawar argued that married couples could see each other naked but should not look at each other’s genitalia and suggested they cover up with a blanket during sex.

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